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Dear Professor: A Woman's Letter to Her Stalker

Dear Professor: A Woman's Letter to Her Stalker

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Dear Professor: A Woman's Letter to Her Stalker

4/5 (63 valutazioni)
28 pagine
26 minuti
Apr 22, 2020


For more than two years, Donna Freitas’s graduate school mentor, a priest and celebrated scholar, stalked her, forever changing her life. In her 2019 account Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention, she re-created, in novelistic detail, the story of being traumatized by her professor’s obsession with her, of how he used his power to try to rob her of her own. Freitas’s story has been hailed as “groundbreaking” (Kirkus) and “an important testament for the #MeToo era” (Publishers Weekly), “illuminat[ing] our ideas about harassment and harm” (Rebecca Traister). But readers’ responses to its publication, and the author’s experience of seeing the public’s response, impressed upon her that there was more to be said: not from the perspective of the naive young woman she was in graduate school, but in the fully empowered voice of the woman—the writer, teacher, and Title IX researcher and lecturer—she has since become. Pulling no punches, she speaks out here, in this searing Scribd Original, in a direct address—a letter—to her stalker.

Dear Professor confronts and galvanizes. It is a public accusation and a personal confession. Above all, it is a guide to how to express and claim one’s anger, to use it to good and healthy effect to explode the shame that victims of stalking often feel and the silence they are often forced into. It acknowledges the grief of what was lost through years of trauma—the life that the author’s younger self had planned and invested in, including a very different kind of academic career. And it embraces what’s been gained: empathy, resiliency, adaptability, clarity, and more—all highly useful ingredients, it turns out, in becoming an expert on matters of consent and in successfully pursuing a writer’s life. It asks if either forgiveness or outing her stalker by name (something she’s assiduously avoided in print and at her readings and lectures) is necessary to her healing. Is what her former mentor did to her or may have done to others in any way her responsibility? How much can be expected of victims of such pernicious harassment? And how can Freitas continue to protect herself and her right to choose how she overcomes?

At once intimate and incendiary, Dear Professor is an act of liberation and self-love and an invitation to others who’ve been victimized to accept their pain and outrage, assign fault where fault is squarely due, take pride in what must be a uniquely personal journey, and say no, and no again, to censorship, secrecy, and stigma.

Apr 22, 2020

Informazioni sull'autore

Donna Freitas is the author of the Unplugged series as well as several other young adult and middle grade novels. Donna is also a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson’s MFA program and at Hofstra’s Honors College. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. You can visit her online at

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  • The fact that they knew exactly how to deal with a student like me, with claims like mine, how to wear me down until I had no fight left. I’m sure that helped convince you that you were blameless.

  • I’d like to believe it was shame, burning shame, that kept you from asking for my forgiveness. But we both know why you never apologized: because you do not think you did anything wrong.

  • I struggled to explain that it was difficult for me to imagine you doing this to someone else, because what you did to me was basically a full-time job for you.

  • How was I to know that you would see all that life and promise and, rather than empower it, as my other professors had done, you would want to possess it for yourself? Possess me? That you would use your considerable power like a hook and scar me forever?

  • No one has ever said they were sorry. Not you, not my university, not the Catholic Church, of which you were a part, still are a part, and of which I was a part, and still am. I’m still waiting for those apologies. I can’t help it.

Anteprima del libro

Dear Professor - Donna Freitas


Dear Professor,

The last time I googled you I was afraid.

I don’t google you often, because most of the time I pretend that you and I never met, and my brain is good at convincing me that this is true. It hides you from the rest of me, because that’s what traumatized brains do. But once in a great while, maybe once every year or two, it occurs to me that I can google you. The idea appears in my mind like a shock, and then, before I lose the impulse, I type your name into the search bar.

The last time I googled you I was afraid for you.

I was afraid that Google would tell me you were dead.

I went round and round trying to understand why I was worried that I’d find out you were gone from this world. It didn’t make any sense. I should want you dead. I should be overjoyed at the thought. You took so much from me. Things I can never get back.

When we first met, everything was so different. I was so different.

I was happy, I was strong, I was determined. I was only twenty-two, I was full of life and had a future that thrilled me. I’d put all my faith in the powers of the university to be a force for good, and the university put its faith back in me and the development of my mind. I’d just gotten into graduate school, into many graduate schools, had chosen between scholarships, many scholarships. My choice landed me on your doorstep.

I was going to be the first person with a PhD in my blue-collar, Catholic family when you and I met. I was going to take all of my intellectual hunger and devour every idea, every question, every new bit of knowledge that came my way. I was going to prove to my parents that I belonged in the academy, that I could make my home there, despite their worries that such a place was not for people like us. I was going to become like

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  • (5/5)
    Definitely a must read for every person,shows how much it is traumatizing to be stalked, especially by a person whom you personally/ professionally knows. This letter is the proof of how someone's obsession over you can make you force to change your lifestyle, profession and everything else altogether, just to be safe. Even a non - reader must read, this has to be shared and empower yourself to speak up against such behaviours around you. Very insightful and inspirational.
  • (5/5)
    Love it! Passionate, infuriating, brave and empowering. Don’t hesitate to read it!
  • (4/5)
    Good book indeed.Very helpful and ive been doing this for the better part of my free time.Thanks!
  • (5/5)
    A searing and ultimately devastating read, "Dear Professor" speaks truth to power with uncommon directness.
  • (5/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Excellent! I can only imagine how important this book is to women, students and universities. How does one learn through traumatising experiences to manage life and keep moving forward?
    I was fully engaged right to the final word.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (3/5)
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